I’ve never believed in ghosts. Never believed in watching the dearly departed dragging their slightly transparent feet across the graveyard, as their moans are mistaken for the wind. No, that thought is quite unrealistic, but I still remember my heart stopping as three years of mourning left my mind when my deceased papa walked through the door.
“Oh--Oh! Shi-- no,” my mom’s eyes widen and she covers her gaping mouth with her hand, and I understand perfectly. I see her eyes slightly tear up. “I swear,” she murmurs. “I swear I just saw Dad walk in.”
Our eyes played pranks on both of us as my great uncle or Papa’s brother greets all the family members at our Christmas gathering. I couldn’t keep my stinging eyes off of him. For a few cruel moments, I was able to see my grandfather walking, breathing, and smiling. The dull ache in my chest started to bleed again as he came to greet me and Mom. Like protocol for all relatives, we smiled and exchanged our “Good to see you’s” and shared a brief hug.
I felt guilt when I was sad to leave his side. I didn’t know my great uncle very well, but for a little bit, I felt as if I had embraced a ghost. The cheery home was far from a haunted house with bright, twinkling lights, laughter, and christmas music singing about love, but I couldn’t help but feel haunted. As the night continued, and more memories were built with family, I realized maybe remembering my Papa was a good thing. I can see him in the jokes of my cousins, laugh of my mom, and face of my great-uncle. Ghosts live all around us because our loved ones will never truly leave